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January 5 2016 - Socrata expects great things in 2016 for U.S. cities. Announced in 2015, the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative pairs mayors’ offices with nonprofits and university partners. The foundation, started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has set aside $42 million to help cities improve their data-informed decision making and practices. What Works Cities plans to roll out their programs in 100 cities over the next two years and will hit its stride in 2016. Earlier this month, 13 cities were announced as the second wave of What Works Cities to join the program in its inaugural year.

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December 17, 2015

Sunlight Foundation: Waco becomes 4th What Works City to pass an open data policy

December 17 2015 - Waco, Texas, became the fourth What Works City, and the fourth city in Texas, to pass an open data policy. Following in the footsteps of recent open data policies in Jackson, Miss., Kansas City, Mo., and Mesa, Ariz., Resolution 2015-756 was passed Dec. 15, 2015 — a big step toward increasing citizen engagement and transparency. In August 2015, the Waco City Council authorized a partnership with What Works Cities to advance the use of data and evidence in city hall, with Sunlight leading work on open data. As part of the overall effort that included the development of the open data policy, city staff are also beginning work on a preliminary data inventory and are identifying priority areas of focus for the data and information that will be released to Waco residents in open and machine-readable formats.

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December 16 2015 - St. Paul has just earned the backing of Bloomberg Philanthropies for its innovation efforts. St. Paul is where I live and where over half of GovDelivery's employees are based. It is a vibrant place to live and work, and it is getting better in many ways. The City has recommitted itself to development and progress over the past eight years investing in housing, public amenities, connectivity to the great Mississippi river that winds around us and, more. St. Paul has benefited for years from a strong City government workforce and a high level of civic engagement and partnership from the public, nonprofits, and private employers.

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December 14 2015 - Governments share lots of data with the public, and unleash more every day. Open data is improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people, many incrementally and some dramatically. If we want open data to have even greater impact, we need to think strategically about how to organize it for more effective production and consumption at scale. Recently, we started gathering a list of civic data standards. This is a launching point for using interoperability to broaden the reach of data for public good. The aim is to build a library for suppliers and consumers of government data to learn about existing standards, as well as the skills and resources to create new ones.

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December 13 2015 - Bloomberg Philanthropies announced thirteen new additions to the What Works Cities initiative: Anchorage, Alaska; Bellevue, Washington; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Denton, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Independence, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lexington, Kentucky; Saint Paul, Minnesota; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; Tacoma, Washington; and Waco, Texas. These cities will work with expert partners to enhance data- and evidence-based practices, including releasing open data, managing performance, conducting low-cost evaluations, and structuring contracts to focus on results.

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December 10 2015 - We are thrilled to officially announce the addition of another 13 cities as part of the next cohort participating in the What Works Cities initiative. With today’s announcement, the program’s total reach has more than doubled and now includes 21 cities in 15 states, bringing us closer to the ambitious goal of working with 100 cities over the next three years.

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November 23 2015 - Kansas City, Mo., committed early to the idea of open data, launching its portal in 2013. When I began managing open data operations earlier this year, it was clear that the city was committed to making data available to the public to increase transparency and encourage citizen and business participation in government. As such, when Bloomberg Philanthropies announced its What Works Cities initiative to help cities make evidence-based, data-driven decisions last spring, Kansas City jumped at the chance to participate. In August, we were selected for What Works Cities, working alongside experts in the field to establish ourselves as leaders in the use of open data to achieve citywide goals and engage with the public.

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October 1, 2015

Sunlight Foundation: Why should cities have an open data policy?

October 1 2015 - At this year’s iteration of our annual open government unconference, TransparencyCamp, I had the pleasure of leading a session on the role of policy in the open data movement, and a particular question seemed to strike a chord with participants: Just how relevant and important is an open data policy to a successful open data program? What does it actually accomplish, not just symbolically, but functionally? Or, to put it more bluntly, why have an open data policy?

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September 23, 2015

Sunlight Foundation: Big data in the 'Bold New City' of Jackson, Miss.

September 23 2015 - In April of 2014, Mayor Tony T. Yarber was placed in the seat of leadership for Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson. He did so with the intent to foster more accountability and transparency in the city’s government practices. After a little over a year in office, Yarber is making good on his promise by establishing the use of data and evidence as the status quo in his administration. From revealing his "Bold New Vision" for the city of Jackson to the signing of an executive order to create an open data policy, the mayor has committed to bringing big data to the "Bold New City."

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September 15 2016 - Kansas City was honored this summer to be named one of the nation’s first Works Works Cities, indicating a new relationship with Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.The honor recognizes Kansas City’s commitment to data-driven management. More important, the new relationship with Bloomberg Philanthropies will enrich the data-driven management arsenal already in place through the city manager’s Office of Performance Management.

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